Nowadays occupying nearly 1,000 acres in the hamlet of the same name, Cheveley Park Stud has the distinction of being the oldest stud farm in Newmarket and, probably, the oldest stud farm in England. Cheveley Park Stud rose to prominence in the early nineteenth century, under the auspices of John Manners, Fifth Duke of Rutland. Manners bred four Classic winners, including the 1928 Derby winner, Cadland, who initially dead-heated with The Colonel before winning the subsequent run-off. He also planted a tree-lined avenue, known as ‘Duchess Drive’, in memory of his wife, Elizabeth, Duchess of Rutland, who died in 1825 at the age of 45.
A 7,800-acre estate in its heyday in the late nineteenth century, Cheveley Park Stud had dwindled away to just 270 acres, and was in the hands of the official receiver, when bought by the current owner, Patricia Thompson, in 1975. In fact, Mrs. Thompson purchased Cheveley Park Stud together with the husband, David Thompson, and they continued as co-owners until his death, from renal failure, in January, 2021, aged 84.
In the 46 years since Mr. & Mrs. Thompson took over, it would be fair to say that Cheveley Park Stud has undergone a resurgence, to the extent that it is one of the most important breeding and ownership operations in the country. Its distinctive red, white and blue colours are a familiar sight on British racecourses and, during the 2021 Flat Owners’ Championship, were carried to victory 34 times, thereby earning over £964,000 in prize money.